Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Trip - Day 3 - EPCOT

April 9, 2012

This morning starts as all have this week, with a late breakfast at the food court and then a bus trip to the park. Today we will be at EPCOT where the International Flower and Garden Festival is in full swing. I have been here before during this festival, but this is the first time since getting back to my passion of photography. This is what I have been waiting for and anticipating and hope to come away with some superb photos.

As we enter the park, I stop to take some photos of the topiaries at the front of the park. This year the theme there is the original Fantasia. (Yes, of course you know I am going to let you see all of the photos and not just this one. Have a look here.)

Once inside the park we decide that the line for Spaceship Earth is longer than we care to wait, so we continue on. My wife enjoys looking in the Art of Disney store, so while she goes in, I sit outside and take a few more shots.

When she comes out, we decide that we need a drink and head over to Club Cool. (I love watching unsuspecting folk having their first drink of Beverly! Yes, I am bad.)

Next up will be a nice long attraction where we can sit down for an extended period of time. (There will be a lot of sitting and taking it easy this trip.) Naturally, that means Ellen's Energy Adventure at The Universe of Energy. Almost an hour later we emerge and I start to take some pictures of the topiaries and flowers in front of the Festival Center - the former Wonders of Life building. Today is one of the two warmest days we will have on the trip so we want to take it slow, which works out fine as photos of the flowers will be the main order of business today.

EPCOT is full of new plantings for this festival. It is hard to convey exactly how beautiful the park is during this time through photos alone ... but I will try. (You have looked here by now, haven't you?)

We had thoughts of going on Test Track and considered our options. The fastpass return time is now in the middle of our dinner reservations, and with the new policy of enforcing the one hour window printed on the fastpass, the time does not work for us. The standby line is well over an hour and a half, and the single rider line is at 40 minutes, so we decide to pass it by at this point, and head over to World Showcase.

Although we have had a late breakfast, the craving for lunch has started to set in. Originally we had thought that we might have lunch either at the Mexican counter service or China counter service locations. Since we first pass Mexico, we go to see if we could find a table, and all are filled, so we decided to continue on to China. We pass Norway and arrive at China and we are feeling a bit warm at this point, so I ask my wife if she would consider a sit down lunch at Nine Dragons (if they can take a walk-up) where we can sit in the air conditioning and be served. She agrees so we go in and find that they can indeed accommodate us, so we have our lunch there.

Feeling fed and refreshed, we continue our walk around World Showcase, and I continue to find and photograph the flowers and topiaries put out for the festival. And there are many.

As we pass Germany, my wife and I stop into the carmel kitchen and who can possibly resist the goodies they have inside. Not only the commercial, prepackaged caramels (Werthers for example), but caramel goodies fresh made right onsite. We, of course, have to get something, and do.

Continuing along, I stop and take a few moments to photograph the miniature village and trains set up just past the Germany pavilion. We pass Italy and then we continue on until we reach the American Adventure. Air conditioning, seats, The Voices of Liberty, a theater show with more sitting in air conditioning ... we never miss it!


Continuing along our trip around World Showcase, we pass Japan (where we will be returning for dinner) and Morocco and then come to France. As usual, my wife wants to look at the souvenirs, so I find a shady spot to sit - and take some pictures - while she is gone. After a while she comes back ... with a piece of cheesecake and a coffee. She had gone in just to get a coffee, but could not resist the cheesecake.

Continuing around, we decide that we will stop at the UK to sit down, listen to The British Revolution, and wait for our daughter to meet us here. It is Monday so she was back at work, but will meet us in the park and join us for dinner.

We text her our location and sit back and wait for the show to begin. She arrives before it does and joins us on the bench watching/listening to the performance. It's a pleasant way to start the evening, and when it is over we head towards Japan and our reservation at Tokyo Dining.

When dinner is over, my wife and daughter do some shopping at Japan while I head over to a spot I like in front of Germany where I set up my tripod and wait for Illuminations. My wife and daughter join me and we end our day here with Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.

Tomorrow - The Magic Kingdom


Don't forget - all of the photos from today can be seen here.